|Highest Elevation:||5846 feet|
|Duration:||About 1 hour|
|Shape of Trail:||Connector|
|Best Direction to Travel:||N/A|
|Nearest Town w/ Services:||Jerome|
|Official Road Name:||FR318, CO72|
|Management Agency:||Prescott National Forest|
Between the historic mining town of Jerome and the ranches of Perkinsville, Arizona is a road that was once partially a route for a railway to carry copper and other precious metals and minerals from the Jerome mine. Today this road - also known as Forest Road 318 or Yavapai County Road 72 - is maintained as a county road. You'll want to spend some time in Jerome exploring this historic town, but then you can head northwest towards the sparsely populated ranching town of Perkinsville. From Perkinsville you can also head north to William, or west to Chino. Along the route you can get amazing views of the Mogollon Rim, the striking reds of Red Rock Country, and the rolling desert hills just east of Chino Valley. You also get to drive along side the Woodchute Mountain Wilderness Area on the southern portion of this trail.
Dirt road. Dry, or less than 3" water crossing depth. Some ruts. Slight grades, up to 10 degrees. 2WD under most conditions. Rain or snow may make 4WD necessary. Usually one and a half to two vehicles wide.Read more about our rating system
The pavement ends and the dirt begins at the Gold King Mine & Ghost Town. If you have some extra time and cash, you might find this attraction interesting.
You'll find some old mining roads blocked off at this point. It's also at the top of a hill where you can get some good views of the town below, and especially of the Gold King Mine & Ghost Town.
Continuing straight on Perkinsville Road isn't hard, as FR 500E is an easy one to miss. It's still marked as a trail on the MVUM, but doesn't look like it's been maintained in a while.
Continue straight past FR 500B. This north bound trail is right next to a cattle guard, but if your not looking for it, can easily be missed.
Continue straight past FR 155. This forest road heads north towards the Antelope Hills, and Bakers Pass Tank. With it's sudden slope off the main road, it too can easily be missed if you aren't paying attention.
Continue straight on the main road past this intersection. FR 318A will take you southwest to Smiley Rock, and might also be a more direct, but rougher, route to the town of Chino.
Stay on the main road as you go under these high voltage power lines. If you get out and listen quietly, you can hear them crackle and hum. There's also a couple of trails going off to either side, but they are not officially designated on the forest service maps, and should be considered off-limits. There are also a lot of ranches in this area, so they may also be on private property.
Continue straight past these side roads. Here you'll find a couple more trails heading off on both side of the main road; however, only the one heading west is an open forest road while the other is clearly marked as closed. Dispersed Camping is allowed along forest road 9001X.
Stay straight to continue to Perkinsville. If you're goal is to get to Chino, you can turn west as the road signs indicate. Dispersed camping is allowed along forest road 9899D.
Continue straight (north) into Perkinsville, or head southwest if you want to get to Chino.
This is an old iconic one-lane bridge you get to cross as you go over one of Arizona's longest and most prominent rivers: The Verde River.
Turn east into Perkinsville at this intersection. You'll now be on FR 9004W which does allow for dispersed camping, but with fire restrictions.
While FR 9004W does show on the forest MVUM as continuing another quarter mile or more past this gate, it is clearly stated as being private land on the other side.
Trailhead Coordinates: 34.757870, -112.130030